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The One That I Want

Scorned Women’s Society Book #3

Piper Sheldon



This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, rants, facts, contrivances, and incidents are either the product of the author’s questionable imagination or are used factitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead or undead, events, locales is entirely coincidental if not somewhat disturbing/concerning.

Copyright © 2021 by Smartypants Romance; All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, photographed, instagrammed, tweeted, twittered, twatted, tumbled, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without explicit written permission from the author.

Made in the United States of America

Ebook Edition:



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30


About the Author

Sneak Peek: Dewey Belong Together by Ann Whynot, Green Valley Library Book #7

Other books by Piper Sheldon

Also by Smartypants Romance


To J.R., always

And to my readers, so glad to find you here

Chapter 1


Tonight I could be nobody. I had no worries waiting for me. I was just a woman looking to get her dance on. And I was damn happy about that.

The club music pumped all around me, taking over my mind, drowning out the responsibilities that waited for me back in Green Valley, Tennessee. Lights flashed in a pleasing and disorienting way. Bodies all around me moved to the heavy bass and electronic beats; some faced the stage, dancing solo, others paired up, groups of girls clumped together to form that invisible, creep-repellent forcefield any clubbing regular immediately recognizes.

Blissfully in my own world, my arms reached for the sky and I rocked my hips to a sexy blend of hip-hop and Latin that had me flexing newly learned dance moves. Despite how my sweaty face probably looked, I was happy. One dance club in a foreign city, and I could take a full breath for the first time in years. Six years ago, I was given a second chance to change my life. I vowed I would never let down those who saved me.

But maybe just one night off to dance was okay too.

I danced until I forgot about what waited for me back home. The chaos that Diane Donner’s sudden disappearance left, the worry about the promotion I was desperate to earn, or the new manager that was in charge of that decision. I hopped up and down to the music, shaking off the thoughts that threatened to ground me.

An awareness of being watched had me twirl to scan the crowd. Something across the room snagged my attention. Rather, someone. A man stood at the bar, leaning casually despite intense eye contact that zipped through me. Or at least I thought he was looking at me. It was hard to tell among the flashing lights and jumping bodies. A group of girls jostled me and I lost sight of him. I turned in time to the music, trying to spot him again, wondering if I imagined that initial jolt of energy.

There had been something about his look. It wasn’t that scary, stomach-hurting focus that some men triggered. Instead, there was an intense interest to it that felt like more than just a passing glance. It was rare for me to make eye contact with someone and react so physically. His gaze had been piercing but his light coloring surprised me the most. Light hair, light eyes, even across the dark bar I could tell that much. He required more time to study. For science.

Sadly, I would never know because he had disappeared.

It wasn’t long before a deeply satisfying sweat broke out on my brow. I was getting overheated in my favorite leather jacket over a loose tank top and tight jean skirt. When the band took a break, I pushed through the crowd of people toward the bathroom. I missed this in some ways, the electricity of bodies and music and being free. I didn’t really let myself go in Green Valley unless it was from within the safety net of the Scorned Women’s Society, SWS for short. They were my gravity when the world spun out around me.

I didn’t have the same startling beauty that Suzie Samuels had. I didn’t charm easy like Kim Dae. I couldn’t say whatever came to mind like Gretchen LaRoe. I only had the protection of looking completely unapproachable.

I patted my face with a damp paper towel to cool off, careful to not blur my eyeliner. My fingertips shook my bangs back in place. I tilted my head and squinted at my reflection. Gretchen once said she envied my resting bitch face, RBF for short. (A term I resented but, unfortunately, universally acknowledged.) She told me it was my superpower. She was right. I did not exist to make sure people felt comfortable when they looked at me.

My full lips and freakishly long lashes gave me a perpetually pouty face. People always asked me if I was cosmetically altered. It didn’t help that I was naturally thin and covered in tattoos. I always drew looks. Typically, I just gave them one of my winning glares and they scurried away. Smiles came as easy for me as catching a greased-up pig and stayed half as long. My blunt-cut bangs and thick eyeliner completed my badass look.

As I washed my hands, a younger girl—or maybe I was getting ancient at twenty-eight but she looked like a baby—stepped up next to me to wash her own. I felt more than saw her look me up and down. I kept my focus on my reflection.

She was just about to leave the bathroom, when I said, “Hey, you. Stop.”

She froze and turned around. She looked around and back to me, before gripping her clutch tighter. “Uh, yeah?”

I rolled my eyes. Even when happy, apparently I looked meaner than a wet

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